Howard Week

September 09, 2001

Ex-associate chief of schools to help plan next year's budget

Maurice F. Kalin, the man many parents once loved to hate, has agreed to help the Howard County school system develop the next school year's capital budget and analyze the latest set of enrollment predictions.

Kalin retired in June from his position as associate superintendent of planning and support services, saying he had had enough after 27 years in the district.

But Deputy Superintendent Sydney L. Cousin asked Kalin to come back as a consultant and do what he did best - slog through the mucky swamp of numbers, agendas and emotions and emerge with useful facts.

"There are a lot of areas that we need to consult with him about, in order to complete the capital budget," Cousin said. "There are things that need interpretation and analysis that only he has the knowledge of."

Golf tournament delayed due to course's condition

The Columbia Association's showcase golf course, Hobbit's Glen, has such serious problems that officials have postponed an annual tournament, asked a turf expert to make an "emergency" visit and suggested in letters of apology sent to members that the course might need to be rebuilt.

Six of the 18 greens are marred by patches of bare dirt, defects that association officials attribute to heavy rain and extreme heat early last month.

After repeated reseedings and coddling with fertilizers and electric fans in the past two weeks, the greens are sprouting back to life, said Robert D. Bellamy, operations director for the association's sport and fitness division. That might not end recurring problems for the course, which was host of the State Farm Senior Classic for three years until this summer, when the PGA held it at Hayfields Country Club in Hunt Valley.

Doctor sent man home a day before two killings

Twenty-four hours before Benjamin Morgan Hawkes, believing he was, alternately, Jesus Christ and Satan, killed his mother and a teen-age boarder in their Columbia home, a Howard County General Hospital physician made a diagnosis of "stable" but suffering from "anxiety" and sent him home with a prescription for anti-anxiety medicine, according to reports made public Tuesday.

It was the mental health system's latest and most deadly failure in its 14 years of periodically housing and treating Hawkes as he struggled with mental illness, Public Defender Carol A. Hanson said Tuesday.

"Benjamin Hawkes is not responsible. ... For this is a tragic case of missed opportunities," Hanson said in urging Howard Circuit Judge Diane O. Leasure to accept the recommendations of psychiatrists who said Hawkes, who was charged with two counts of first-degree murder, was suffering from paranoid schizophrenia when he killed Mary Jane Hawkes, 59, and Teena Wu, 18.

During a 45-minute hearing that included an account of the violence in the Hawkes family's Wild Filly Court home Feb. 11 and an accounting of Benjamin Hawkes' contacts with mental health professionals, Leasure found Hawkes not criminally responsible for the attacks and committed him indefinitely to Clifton T. Perkins Hospital Center in Jessup.

Long Reach residents, police chief discuss crime

Long Reach residents pointed fingers and butted heads on topics such as parental skills and the rights of teen-agers Tuesday night during a discussion of crime issues mediated by Howard County Police Chief Wayne Livesay.

Many of the topics raised by the 50 to 60 people in attendance focused on teens loitering near the village center. But the octagonal lunch tables in the Long Reach High School cafeteria, where the two-hour discussion was held, were devoid of teen-agers until just before 9 p.m., when about a dozen streamed in - not to address the group, but to talk with two youth advocates who were there.

At least a half-dozen residents called for a curfew, but others, including Livesay, said it would not be fair to hard-working teen-agers who may be coming home late from a job.

Chemist's trial on assault, endangerment begins

Marta Bradley and Alan Bruce Chmurny had been work friends for nearly two years - lunching together, shopping for a dog - when he placed a mock performance evaluation in her mailbox at Oceanix Biosciences Corp. in Hanover.

Among the comments that concerned her most in the February 1997 document, Chmurny had written, "Caught her friend's life with a caring heart when everything he had found was taken away in an instant. To this day she has not let it fall and break," Bradley said Wednesday during the first day of testimony in Chmurny's trial on charges of assault, reckless endangerment and malicious destruction.

The fake evaluation and missing items would become part of a pattern of incidents involving Chmurny - incidents that peaked when the Frederick chemist allegedly placed deadly mercury in the air ducts of Bradley's Ford Taurus station wagon in mid-April 2000, Assistant State's Attorney Jim Dietrich said during opening statements.

Planning Board looks at proposed regulations

The Howard County Planning Board took a first look Wednesday night at a flurry of proposed regulations that would change how developers do business and how farmers farm, and broaden housing choices by altering zoning rules along U.S. 1.

Board members, charged with making recommendations about the changes to elected officials, spent the evening listening to the suggestions of residents, builders and farmers - who had plenty to say.

The proposed amendments are prompted by the 2000 General Plan, the document that maps out how the county should change during the next two decades.

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